TWO fishermen were dramatically successfully rescued from a life raft having been forced to abandon their fishing boat which had caught fire and was sinking off the Kerry coast.
Castletownbere RNLI lifeboat was launched to race to the aid of the sinking fishing boat which had to be abandoned south of Derrynane off the Kerry coast.
The alarm was raised by Valentia Coast Guard radio at 12.26pm.
The Castletownbere-based fishing boat, which had two crewmen on board, caught fire.
Despite desperate efforts, the fishermen were unable to douse the flames.
They decided to abandon the boat when they realised it was also starting to take on water.
Both men successfully launched their life raft and awaited rescue.
Two fishing boats which were in the area, 'Orchid' and 'Stephanie', raced to the assistance of the stricken boat.
The Castletownbere RNLI lifeboat, under the command of Coxswain Dan Noonan, was launched within minutes and arrived at the scene in just over an hour.
Other rescue services which attended the emergency included the Shannon-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 115 the Derrynane Inshore Rescue boat and the Ballinskelligs lnshore Rescue boat.
The two fisherman, who were both uninjured, were successfully rescued and transferred from the Ballinskelligs lnshore Rescue boat to the Castletownbere Lifeboat.
They are and are expected back in Castletownbere before 4pm today.